Startups Clearside, Corinthian raise money for ocular drug delivery systems

Two startups with North Carolina connections—Clearside Biomedical and Corinthian Ophthalmic—have nailed down funding to support development of drug delivery systems for eye treatments.

One is a microinjection system; the other is a mystery replacement for the long-used eye dropper.

Clearside Biomedical is building an ocular microinjection platform to deliver drugs to the back of the eye. The startup, with headquarters in Atlanta and research offices in Research Triangle Park, NC, announced its debut Jan. 5, as well as $4 million in Series A venture funding led by Hatteras Venture Partners.

Clearside's initial cash infusion will pay for work on its technology platform as well as initial clinical testing of the first drug to go with it—a product to treat macular edema and retinal vein occlusion. Clearside's tech is designed to deliver drugs nonsurgically to the suprachoroidal space of the eye—a region that has not been accessible without a surgeon's knife.

Clearside's new leadership includes Daniel White, president and CEO. He has some crucial experience with Big Pharma, having most recently served as head of transactions for GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) Stiefel dermatology division. Director of Research Samirkumar Patel joined the startup after having worked for drug delivery company Alza as a chemical engineer focused on oral products research and development, according to Clearside's website.

Corinthian Ophthalmic has raised a $2.2 million equity investment from 11 investors, MedCity News reports, in order to continue research and development efforts for a device that would be more efficient and effective than an eye dropper in delivering medication, founder and President Skip Ballou told the publication. He declined to describe to MedCity Corinthian's technology in detail, but said he hoped for some sort of licensing or partnership arrangement with a pharmaceutical company. Further details of the device will be released by mid-March, he said. Corinthian is based in Raleigh, NC.

- here's the Clearside release
- read the Corinthian MedCity News story

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